Faculty motivations to use active learning among pharmacy educators

Nicole Rockich-Winston, Brian C. Train, Michael J. Rudolph, Chris Gillette

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

5 Scopus citations


Introduction: Faculty motivations to use active learning have been limited to surveys evaluating faculty perceptions within active learning studies. Our objective in this study was to evaluate the relationship between faculty intrinsic motivation, extrinsic motivation, and demographic variables and the extent of active learning use in the classroom. Methods: An online survey was administered to individual faculty members at 137 colleges and schools of pharmacy across the United States. The survey assessed intrinsic and extrinsic motivations, active learning strategies, classroom time dedicated to active learning, and faculty development resources. Bivariate associations and multivariable stepwise linear regression were used to analyze the results. Results: In total, 979 faculty members completed the questionnaire (23.6% response rate). All motivation variables were significantly correlated with percent active learning use (p < 0.001). Intrinsic motivation demonstrated the highest correlation (r = 0.447) followed by current extrinsic motivations (r = 0.245) and ideal extrinsic motivations (r = 0.291). Variables associated with higher intrinsic motivation included the number of resources used (r = 0.233, p < 0.001) and the number of active learning methods used in the last year (r = 0.259, p < 0.001). Years of teaching experience was negatively associated with intrinsic motivation (r = −0.177, p < 0.001). Regression analyses confirmed the importance of intrinsic and extrinsic motivations in predicting active learning use. Discussion and conclusions: Our results suggest that faculty members who are intrinsically motivated to use active learning are more likely to dedicate additional class time to active learning. Furthermore, intrinsic motivation may be positively associated with encouraging faculty members to attend active learning workshops and supporting faculty to use various active learning strategies in the classroom.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)277-284
Number of pages8
JournalCurrents in Pharmacy Teaching and Learning
Issue number3
StatePublished - Mar 2018


  • Active learning
  • Extrinsic motivation
  • Faculty motivations
  • Faculty perceptions
  • Intrinsic motivation

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pharmacy
  • Pharmacology, Toxicology and Pharmaceutics(all)


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